Without a doubt the biggest concern of new moms breastfeeding is “do I have enough milk?”. Almost every mom we work with is worried she doesn’t have enough milk, even the ones who actually have an oversupply! The majority of moms have no problem making enough milk–typically if the baby “isn’t getting enough milk” it is because either the baby is having difficulty transferring the milk, or feeding at the breast is being restricted and not happening frequently enough.
For those of you whose baby seems to “just be getting enough,” rest assured that having an oversupply isn’t always a great thing. Babies can have difficulty managing mom’s milk ejection reflex (aka. “let down”) and you will see them gasp and pull off the breast. They are also often gassy and more uncomfortable. In truth, most moms make the perfect amount of milk for their baby’s needs. Your body is amazingly designed to regulate the amount of milk it makes based upon how frequently and effectively the baby empties the breast. This is why when a baby is going through a growth spurt you will see him want to feed very frequently, making it seem like your milk supply dropped, when really he is just telling your body to make more milk for him in the next few days! Your body also adjusts the nutritional content of your breastmilk throughout the day, and as the baby ages. So a baby who is 1 year of age will get different milk than a baby who is 3 months of age! Pretty incredibly, isn’t it?!
If you think that that your baby is having trouble transferring your milk and not getting enough, or if you are concerned you aren’t making enough milk, contact your local lactation consultant (IBCLC). Your IBCLC can assess a feeding and help identify the source of the problem.
Contact Simply the Breast today to find your local lactation consultant! Simply the Breast serves Camarillo, Pt. Mugu, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, and Westlake Village areas of Ventura County.